Saugerties, NY - In Thursday's $7,500 Adult Jumper Classic at the 2010 Marshall & Sterling League Finals, when Katherine Edgell raced through the timers she looked up at the clock and the New Jersey native knew she was fast. But she also knew that her double-clear effort in the $7,500 Adult Jumper Classic might not be quick enough to win the Championship.
Edgell (Flanders, New Jersey) had some pretty stiff competition following her in the jump-off order, including three-time defending $7,500 Adult Jumper Classic winner at the Finals, Patricia Diamond-Hennessy (Kintnersville, Pennsylvania) and Little Tom.
When Thursday morning's $7,500 Adult Jumper Classic was complete, Edgell's guess was right-on when Diamond-Hennessy and Little Tom pulled off the hat trick and made it three consecutive years that they won the big-ticket event for adult jumpers. In fact, with four title wins in the Adult Jumper Classic since 2006, Diamond-Hennessy and Little Tom now hold the record for the most division wins in the League's 20 year history! "I knew who I had coming up behind me," said Edgell. "So, I went out and put my best foot forward. We couldn't have gone any better."
Jerry Dougherty designed a course that saw 23 horse-and-rider teams in the first round and eight pairs in the jump-off. Diamond-Hennessy and Little Tom stood tall at the end of the Classic, proud of their record-breaking win.
"My horse just loves this ring (Strongid Stadium)," said Diamond-Hennessy. "It's the third time we won this class in a row, and our fourth victory overall. We will never miss the Finals."
Edgell rode her own horse Miss Kitty to the red ribbon when the class was complete, while Susan Fox (Pinebrook, New Jersey) rode her own horse Enzo to the third-place finish.
In the $7,500 Children's Jumper Classic, Ashley Prusak (Redding, Connecticut) rode Jamie Prusak's Vendelier to the blue, beating out 29 starters who took to Dougherty's first-round course and the nine pairs that competed in the jump-off. "Ashley has only been riding with us for about a month now," said trainer Chris Cawley. "She will be moving up to the Junior Jumpers next year, so this was a great way for her to end her Children's Jumper career."
"My horse has never been in the Strongid Stadium before," said Prusak, who is a sophomore at the Joel Barlow School in Redding, Connecticut. "It was so much fun showing in the big ring!"
Second place went to Principito LS and Hannah Wilt (Spring Lake, New Jersey), and the third place award went to Capiano and Gianni Ferringo (Vero Beach, Florida).
The action in the Strongid Stadium continued with the $1,500 Pony Jumper Classic. Five enthusiastic pairs of Finalists tackled the first-round course, and then two returned for the jump-off. At the end of the class, it was Noah Buehler (Wall, New Jersey) who took the top honors aboard his horse Porsche. TJ O'Mara (Rumson, New Jersey) and Tequila finished in second place.
Competition at the Marshall Sterling League National Finals continues today with a full slate of classes, including the presentation of the Champion and Reserve Champion in the Adult Hunter Division. Tonight at the Finals, the much anticipated Year-End Awards Party takes the stage. All qualifiers and their guests are invited to this special party which will feature live music, great food and a celebratory ceremony honoring this year's award winners and the 20th anniversary of the Marshall & Sterling League.
For complete results from the Finals, click here.
Membership for the 2011 Marshall & Sterling League is $40 and applications are available at all member horse shows, as well as online at the Marshall & Sterling League website. For more information on the Marshall & Sterling League, contact Patti Guerriero, League Coordinator, at email@example.com.
The Marshall & Sterling League was designed to enhance the level of competition for children and adult riders, with an opportunity to qualify for a prestigious National Finals competition. Now celebrating their 20th year, the Marshall & Sterling League features 14 divisions of competition. Riders who are members of the League had the opportunity to earn points throughout the year by competing in Marshall & Sterling classes in order to qualify for the Marshall & Sterling League Finals, which will be held this year from September 15-19 at HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York.
Marshall & Sterling Insurance, Inc., founded in 1864, is among the largest privately owned insurance agencies in the United States. For more than a quarter century, Marshall & Sterling has protected precious equine assets with unparalleled service and support, whether the family hunter, a champion racehorse or a commercial farm. An employee-owned company, Marshall & Sterling has been recognized by IIABA as one of the nation's top "Best Practice Agencies." The company maintains a national presence and is licensed in all 50 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. For more information contact Mary Moeller at 800-836-3046, extension 224.
HITS, Inc. produces high-quality, international-level hunter/jumper horse shows. Based in upstate New York in the village of Saugerties, HITS has been producing shows since 1982 and is now a nationwide company with world-class circuits in California, Florida, Arizona, New York and Virginia. In 2010, HITS took the industry to new heights when it hosted the first-ever Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix on September 12, in Saugerties, New York.
For more information and a complete schedule of classes and events, visit www.HitsShows.com.
Photos: Patricia Diamond-Hennessy and Little Tom on course in the $7,500 Adult Jumper Classic at the 2010 Marshall & Sterling League National Finals. ©ESI Photography
Marshall & Sterling's Mary Moeller congratulates Patricia Diamond-Hennessy and Little Tom after winning the $7,500 Adult Jumper Classic. ©ESI Photography
Ashley Prusak and Vendelier on course in the $7,500 Children's Jumper Classic at the 2010 Marshall & Sterling League National Finals. ©ESI Photography
Noah Buehler and Porsche on course in Thursday's $1,500 Pony Jumper Classic at HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York. ©ESI Photography